The price of a car insurance policy rises dramatically the more urgently it is needed, research shows, as insurers cash in on motorists applying for cover at the last minute.
Insurance companies raise their premiums, which peak on the day a motorist’s policy expires or renews automatically, comparethemarket.com discovered.
Premiums would cost, on average, £685.95 on that day, the researchers found. Almost 25 per cent of motorists wait until that date before they purchase their new cover, whilst 38 per cent will buy new cover the day before or on the day.
Data from the website indicates the best day to buy car insurance is three weeks before existing policies expire, as insurers compete to offer the best deals, knowing motorists still have time to look around at competitors. On average, the policy would cost £359.40 at that time.
However, only 1.5 per cent of motorists will buy their new policy at this time, showing that many drivers are missing out on a considerable saving.
The dates of renewal will differ for every motorist, and the research based its findings on the cheapest policies offered to motorists when they had clicked through to buy, using information on how soon they wanted their cover to start.
“Timing is key when it comes to choosing motor insurance and waiting until the last minute to switch premiums can leave drivers significantly out of pocket. Those who shop around for the best deals are more likely to avoid paying high premiums and can save a significant amount of money,” said Simon McCulloch, of comparethemarket.com.